Mikulski Testifies for Strong Power Reliability Standards in Md. - Southern Maryland Headline News

Mikulski Testifies for Strong Power Reliability Standards in Md.

WASHINGTON (March 24, 2011) — U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today testified at a hearing of Maryland Public Service Commission on the need for strong state power reliability standards and asked the commission to quickly adopt the final regulations that put these standards in place. Pepco customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s County see their lights go out 70 percent more often, and stay off twice as long, as power customers in other parts of the country.

“Pepco’s service – or lack of it – has a profound impact on Maryland’s residents and economy,” Senator Mikulski said. “This hearing was long overdue. As we discuss reliability standards for public utilities, my top priority is protecting Maryland families and businesses from interrupted power supply. Power outages threaten health and safety, and lead to lost income for businesses and lost revenue for the state.”

Senator Mikulski has been fighting to improve the reliability of service for Pepco’s customers. After a January storm left more than 150,000 Pepco customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties without power, Senator Mikulski sent a letter and spoke with Pepco CEO Joseph M. Rigby expressing her frustration at the continued outages and received updates on the company’s improvement plan to prevent future disruptions.

Senator Mikulski also sent a letter in February to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking it to address concerns of reliability, transparency and customer service during its April audit of Pepco. She also requested that U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, investigate the feasibility of adopting federal standards for local power transmission.

“I hear from Marylanders who are fed up – and I’m fed up,” Senator Mikulski said. “Providing relief to Marylanders must include reforms at every level. We need to make up for lost time and make Maryland’s standards the strongest in the nation. Let’s work together to protect consumers’ pocketbooks, profits and products.”

Source: Office of U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

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